It’s no surprise the Bulls are trying their hardest to land a Top Three pick in the upcoming draft. What’s more surprising is how open they are about going down this path. They aren’t coming out and saying they are tanking, but for all intensive purposes they are. There are going to be new rules about tanking next season and they will directly affect the NBA Draft. So, using what is the last season before penalties go into effect, the Bulls are trying to Tank.
If you are not caught up on the new NBA Draft Lottery and tanking rules that are taking effect next season, here is a crash course and how it is impacting teams this season.
Before, the team with the worst record in the league had the best odds to get the Top Pick. Next season the worst three records will all have the same chance to land that coveted Top Pick, and if you have the worst record you could fall below fourth overall, something that currently does not happen. On top of losing draft position teams can be fined to resting healthy players in high profile games.
Now that the crash course is out of the way, how does it come into play this year? Teams are looking at this as their last best chance to tank for a better pick, without having to face major consequences.
For the Bulls, looking at their roster one can wonder why the keep resting Robin Lopez after the All-Star Break, and playing younger players who do not give them the same competitive edge. Simple, they are now playing for the draft pick. They currently are a few games back of having the worst record in the league, and another few wins could keep them out of the Top Three in June.
With this on the line, the Bulls are looking for ways to get one of those picks. LaVine will rest on back-to-backs for the rest of the season, Lopez will probably start to see more bench, Dunn and Markkanen could see some nights off, and those young players that have ridden the bench all year could see valuable minutes.
With all of that in mind, it’s time to fill up the tank for the Bulls.